Saturday, January 06, 2007


All well and good not making any New Year resolutions, but it does leave you somewhat unfocused in the post-holiday lull. Yesterday I cleaned out my toiletries draw and for some strange reason even thought about vacuuming under the bed. Looking inward for inspiration clearly a new hobby is needed.

Now much as I hate to admit it (I do a little, honestly), there is something on my mind. The Beautiful Stranger – this lack of a name is causing me some real trouble, a struggle for closure one might say. I’ve had to turn the pillow over in search of a cool spot several nights this week.

This morning I tried picturing his face whilst saying random names out loud to see if any of them jog a memory (they don’t). Now need to stop doing this because worryingly it seems to be having the unwanted effect of wearing out my memory of his facial features. Soon all I’ll have to hold onto is his voice (a lovely accent reminiscent of home).

So here’s to my new hobby – put a name to the Beautiful Stranger. And it won’t take up too much time. Not only can I remember the street he lives on (why that and no name? a good question) but I know at least one of his favourite bars. So taking a daily walk (get more exercise) and encouraging a few more girls’ nights out (be more sociable) should be all that’s needed. Glad I haven’t settled on any of those old unattainable resolutions. Want this year to get off to a positive start.

Monday, January 01, 2007

In, out, the annual NYE debate


Hairdresser: "So, where are you going tonight then?"

Me: "Oh, I don't know, probably staying in."

Hairdresser: "What!? On NYE?"

Me: "Don't worry ... in a few years it won't seem so frightening ... oh, yes, thanks, tea would be nice."


Me: "So, which of your many offers for tonight are you going with?"

Tom: "Er, not sure, might be going out, yeah."

Me: "Well, I've got your Christmas present here. Want to get an early drink first?"

Tom: "Er, ok ... I thought you were staying in."

Me: "Oh, I am, yes, I mean I'll be in at midnight, I'm just going round to Claire's then ..... so I'm not going out really. But a quick drink early on would be nice, just to get in the spirit, as they say."

Tom: "I see. You want to go somewhere quiet then?"

Me: "Absolutely not. I'll pick you up at half seven."


Anon: "So where's this party then?"

Anon's friend: "I've texted John, he knows them from work."

Anon: "Ah."

Anon's friend: "He's not got back to me yet ..."


Anon: "Busy in here isn't it."

Anon's friend: "Yeah, you know next year we should stay in, it's mad going out on NYE."

Anon: "Yeah ..." (pause) "Are you going to call him then?"


Me: "I've never much liked New Year before, but seeing the back of 2006 is giving me a warm feeling all over."

Claire: "I know what you mean, this one is different."

Me: "It was a shit year ... 2007 will be so much better."

Claire: (shifting five week old baby slightly in her arms) "Well, it wasn't so good for you, I know."

Me: "Oh, yes, sorry ... of course you having Erica was the highlight of my year."


Me: "There must be enough fireworks there to open at least six new hospitals."

Claire: "I was just thinking that ... it's got to cost a fortune.

Happy New Year, Sarah."

Me: "Happy New Year, Claire."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Beautiful stranger on a strange night

Until Friday I'd never been kissed in my cellar. But maybe where it happened isn't that relevant - until Friday I hadn't been kissed for a long time.
On my part there was a definite early intention to remember little of the evening. Dementia and cancer are slowly claiming more of my mother's memories, and for twelve hours I wanted to beat her to it ... to go somewhere that thoughts of hospital appointments, doctors and sad diagnoses weren't going to penetrate. As for Jane, after splitting up with you know who for the nth time she was happy for any distraction.
We tried the new tapas bar round the corner ... bad wine in large glasses, gulp the first one quickly, by the end it doesn't seem that bad, so order another. Two hours later move on somewhere else for just one more, because neither of us is quite drunk enough to sleep without dreaming just yet.
It only took ten minutes for Jane's distraction to wander over. She's a vision to look at and interesting with it, so it's impossible to dislike her for this. Around the edge of his related friends and aquaintances was the beautiful stranger. Don't ask me any complicated questions ... the colour of his eyes, or the kind of shoes he was wearing ... by now my earlier desire to wipe this night from existence was working, first for but now sadly against me. But he must have been smart and funny because when the time came to go it was too soon.
It was a short walk home followed by a blown fuse that led us to the cellar, and a kiss by the fuse box. And it was for him I'm sure just a kiss, one of many Friday night kisses with girls he's never known and never will, but for me it was for the first time in so very long a moment in real time. For a few minutes nothing else existed, a feeling so incredible and so almost forgotten, that I'm afraid all else was. If I knew his name before, and I hope to whatever you pray to that I'd at least had the good grace to ask that, I didn't afterwards.
Not surprisingly the beautiful stranger wasn't quite so enamoured by the thought of spending his night constantly kissing a strange girl who didn't seem to want to sleep with him, but for some reason also wasn't intent on asking him too many questions. He politely took his leave, and as his kisses faded leaving the other world ready to creep back in, I pulled his last words tight around to bring on sleep. "Hope you have a happy Christmas".